China's richest man has appealed to President-elect Donald Trump not to drag the entertainment industry into an international trade war.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Wang Jianlin, named Forbes' richest man in China in three out of the last four years with a wealth most recently estimated to be around $33 billion, warned both sides would lose from a ramp-up in restrictions on entertainment.
"The main market for English language films is in China. If China were to retaliate it would be bad for both parties so I don't want to see that scenario materializing," he explained, saying that his team had written to relevant parties in the U.S. to put forward its case.
"We have asked the chairman of the Film Association of the U.S. to pass a message to Mr. Trump – 'Let's leave the entertainment industry alone, no war please'," he added.
While Wang acknowledged that the government has so far not launched any restrictions on the entertainment industry, preferring instead to focus efforts primarily on defense and manufacturing, congressman had recently written letters saying there would be more investigation into control of entertainment.
"That would be a step back, that would be about protectionism emerging in the U.S.," he affirmed.
While U.S. films are currently popular in China, the billionaire warned that current trends indicate a growing preference for domestically-made spectacles, more centered on emotional and relationship-oriented themes than action-hero and blockbusters dramatically enhanced by special effects.
He noted that in other Asian countries such as India, Korea and Japan, domestically produced films are already more popular than Hollywood films and that Californian production studios ought to pay closer attention to the inclinations of China's enormous market.
"If Hollywood wants to take up a large market share they need to learn how to cater to Chinese tastes not just those super-people,"he advised.